Cabrera blown off course as Garcia rides the winds

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The Independent Online

Defending champion Sergio Garcia took the lead on the wind-affected first day of his home Castello Masters in Spain yesterday – and one of his main rivals is already out of the event.

Because of flight problems Masters champion Angel Cabrera failed to make it from Bermuda in time. Garcia was on the 17th hole of his eight under par 63 when 40mph gusts stopped play for three hours at lunchtime. Cabrera's playing partners Martin Kaymer and Gonzalo Fernando-Castano had just teed off, however, and that meant the Argentine had to be disqualified.

Cabrera finished second in the 36-hole Grand Slam – the tournament for the season's four major winners – in Bermuda on Tuesday, but then hit problems en route across the Atlantic to Spain.

Without a top three finish this year and down from second to 10th in the world, Garcia covered the back nine first in a six under 29. He then holed a seven-footer on the first, chipped to within three feet of the flag at the long fourth and on the resumption birdied the 553-yard eighth.

Garcia's only bogey came at the ninth – his last – and he said: "You never like to finish like that, but other than that it was pretty solid and I made some nice putts."

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